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Knowledge & News
Thought provoking topics and series, necessary news and information.
BY MICHAEL ALGER | MONDAY, OCTOBER 19TH, 2015
I was so glad I resisted the urge to stay home from Collective last night. I had this urge only because I had a busy weekend and was tired, and it’s about a 40 minute drive for me, even though Deland rocks and I always find something amazing to eat and drink following the service. Past experience though has taught me that unless I have a tangible reason not to go do something that has been beneficial in the past, simply not feeling like it is not a valid reason and I always end up satisfied in resisting that excuse.
This article originally appeared as a post on Michael's page, HERE
So I showed....and this has been one of the most personally meaningful Collectives to date. Breathing....prayer....spirit.....renewal. Moreover, simplicity.
I awoke this morning breathing my prayer....inhaling gratitude.....exhaling thanksgiving. Then I moved on to preparing for my workday.....inhaling peace.....exhaling anxiety. This is a prayer I will probably be praying for the rest of my shift. Chances are I will encounter a patient who will be the recipient of an inhaled prayer and an exhaled blessing. Equally possible is that I will be called upon to a situation that will call for an inhaled prayer of safety and an exhalation of fear.
Who would have thought that prayer is or even could be within the simple and necessary act of breathing? Certainly not me. My religious background disregarded such a notion for the sake of the literal translation of 1 Thessalonians 5-which is why I didn’t have a ‘prayer life’. Who can spend all their time praying except perhaps the monks I saw at Gethsemane Abbey last month? I never thought I could pray so simply...through that which is a physiological necessity and profoundly simple in its engineering.
I immediately was transformed(renewed?) when the concept of breathed prayer manifested in about 2 minutes of a video presentation. Breathing in the pain of others, breathing out a blessing. My first thought went to how natural that is even when unintentional. What is the first reaction most of us have when we hear bad news about someone else? “GASP......” We are breathing in their pain. Furthermore, when dealing with the frustrations of daily life and difficult people and bills and parking tickets and air conditioners that break in the middle of summer.....the involuntary reaction is ......to sigh. To breath in and out deeply. Is this perhaps the Spirit interceding for us with groans too deep for words?
A flood of thoughts on prayer has washed over me in the 12 hours since sharing Collective last night.
What if we can...
*Give thanks by breathing in gratitude....and exhaling thanksgiving
*Pray for peace by breathing in that peace.....and exhaling our fear.
*Pray for others by breathing in their grief....and exhaling to them our blessing....and furthermore:
*Pray for ourselves by breathing in the blessings others have given us....and exhaling our turmoil.
This list will expand...I’m confident of that. I’m confident that I’ll never look at prayer through the tired old filter of understanding that I had been taught my entire life either.
Stay tuned for the Sunday Recap tomorrow on the blog: Service summary, podcast, links to the video and more. Or...
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.